By Igor Nitsak
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine has been given two weeks by UEFA to produce new safety and security proposals for the Olympic Stadium in Kiev in the wake of crowd disturbances during Dynamo Kiev’s Champions League match against Chelsea last month.
European soccer’s governing body could order future matches in the competition to be played behind closed doors or moved elsewhere, the executive director of the Ukraine Football Federation (FFU) Volodymyr Geninson said on Wednesday.
He said Ukraine was facing “the last yellow card” from UEFA following the latest trouble, including incidents of racist behaviour, and risked a “red card” if there were any more disciplinary breaches.
“We are speaking only about the security issues at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, but if we show that we are serious on improving the stadium security system, at least, the venue will not be suspended,” Geninson told Reuters.
UEFA is taking action following the latest in a series of incidents at the Olympic Stadium, on Oct. 20, in which a prolonged attack towards black fans was caught on camera by FARE, the anti-discriminatory Football Against Racism in Europe body.
The video footage, posted by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, showed four black supporters, believed to live in Kiev, being attacked by a set of fans and prevented from leaving the stand, before being attacked by other fans, who also blocked their exit via a staircase.
Last season UEFA ordered the partial closure of the stadium following a pitch invasion by supporters during a Europa League match against French club Guingamp in February.
UEFA also fined Dynamo 15,000 euros (10,641.42 pounds) and ordered a partial stadium closure after racist behaviour by fans towards Everton players during another Europa League game three weeks later.
As part of UEFA’s investigation into the latest incident, its head of stadiums and security, Marc Timmer, visited the Olympic Stadium.
Geninson said: “Within the next three-to-four days, Marc Timmer will send us UEFA recommendations in English and we will pass it on to the stadium administration so that they can make some constructive decisions.
“All Europe sticks to its regulations, and they were also applied at the Euro 2012 games. But at some moment we stopped adhering to its standards in terms of the number of stewards, their training, duties and reactions of people responsible for the security at the stadium.”
The Champions League Group G game between Dynamo Kiev and Chelsea ended in a goalless draw. The return match is at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
There is no suggestion that Ukraine’s Euro 2016 playoff first leg against Slovenia on Nov. 12, scheduled to be played in Lviv, would be affected by any sanction imposed on Kiev.
(1 British pound = 1.4096 euros)
(Reporting by Igor Nitsak,; Editing by Neville Dalton)